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How long does a smoke alarm 'chirp' for before the battery actually dies?
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justaftb · 30/03/2020 13:20

The smoke detector in the flat next door has been chirping once a minute for the past few days. Took a few days for me to work out where the noise was coming from as it is so clear I thought it must be coming from somewhere in my flat. However, pressed my ear against the wall and it is definitely coming from the corridor of the neighbouring flat.

Knocked yesterday at about 6 p.m. and politely explained the situation. Neighbour said OK, she'd look at it. I kind of expected at some point over the course of the evening they would deal with it and the noise would stop. But chirping continued all evening and through the night. (I can hear it in my bedroom as well as living room.)

Knocked again this morning and asked politely if she could deal with it. She said she couldn't reach it, so what can she do, beside it wasn't bothering her and that the noise was faint so I couldn't possibly hear it in my flat. If I couldn't hear it, I wouldn't have been round there in the first place!

They are in their 30s, look fit. I've offered to lend them a ladder and buy a new battery, but she refused (fair enough, social distancing at the moment etc.). She said she'd get her flatmate to look at it, but it's been hours ago and nothing has happened. He is in there, I've seen him go out for a cigarette.

The noise, for me, is intensely irritating. I could handle the situation better if one of them had come round and just said, look, we can't reach it, so we can't do anything about it. But along with the irritating noise now is their attitude.

So, I accept I can't make them do it. I am not going to go round knocking on their door every day, as I have already asked politely twice. It will take me some time to track down their landlord as I don't currently know their name, but there are some avenues I can explore to get their contact details.

What I want to know is - does anyone have any idea how long the thing will chirp for before the battery actually dies? Just so I can know if an end is in sight any time soon?

(Of course a related worry is if they claim they can't reach it to change the battery, does that mean when it dies, they won't put a new battery in and therefore won't have a functioning smoke detector?)

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justaftb · 30/03/2020 13:26

I guess I should add, I am the sort of person that if the neighbour approached me with this issue, I'd have tried to get the battery out immediately, probably while they were at the front door, or gotten to work on it ASAP and called round with an update if I had been unable to resolve the issue, been apologetic and tried to work out a solution.

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mencken · 30/03/2020 13:59

selfish fuckers. It could keep going for some time. Bang on the door and leave the ladder with a note telling them to take the battery out even if they are too bone idle to replace it. Perhaps next time he goes out for his cancer sticks he can buy a new battery?

landlords are told not to visit properties at the moment, and there's no remedy for tenant stupidity at the best of times. Sorry.

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justaftb · 30/03/2020 14:41

Thanks @mencken.

I don't think leaving the ladder will work - it will most likely get stolen if left outside. And I don't think they'll use it anyway. They've been there all day and I haven't heard anything that sounds like someone attempting to reach the alarm. I can generally hear them passing down the corridor, so I'd hear it if they were fiddling about with something to stand on.

I wouldn't expect their landlord to come round, would just be happy for them to get in touch and prompt them. Might have more impact than me.

I don't think it's 'tenant' stupidity, by the way, just general thoughtlessness.

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7to25 · 31/03/2020 10:54

I think this may well be a hard wired alarm and the beep goes on "forever" although the alarm can be taken down

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PigletJohn · 31/03/2020 14:11

If the neighbours' hearing is impaired, for example if they are clubbers, builders or aged, they may not notice a high-pitched chirp so it will not trouble them much.

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Rafflesway · 31/03/2020 14:17

No solution OP but just wanted to show empathy.

God knows how they are putting up with it! When the bleep starts on ours I cant bear it for more than half an hour if that.

Your poor thing! 😞 in considerate arseholes for neighbours you have there. 😤

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Rafflesway · 31/03/2020 14:19

Not sure why my ipad has separated the word "Inconsiderate" but same applies!! 😡

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AutumnRose1 · 31/03/2020 14:26

If it’s hard wired into the electric system, it won’t stop.

You might have to kill them.

Is it worth reporting to the fire brigade, they might be less busy, if there’s a power cut, those people are endangering a block of flats.

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jimmyjammy001 · 01/04/2020 03:44

The chirping sound they make is very loud! I could not sleep when mine decided to start chirping at 3am,had to go and deal with it and that was downstairs through lots of closed doors

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suziesnowflake · 01/04/2020 04:28

Months.

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Yesbutisittouching · 01/04/2020 04:46

As I found out recently, wired-in Smoke detectors also have a 9v battery ‘back up’ which also needs replacing as the battery life declines even without use or long-term power outage (who knew?) mine got to 7years... however the chirping was every 60secs and was so irritating I changed it within 10mins of it going off. I don’t believe it is possible to go on forever as the battery has no power source to recharge from but it is impossible to say when it will end. I’m surprised however in lockdown the noise is not bothering the occupants? You have my sympathies OP for the irritation of both the noise and neighbours!

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Inforthelonghaul · 01/04/2020 07:43

ours wakes us up if it does this and has to instantly replaced. Your neighbours are irritating, inconsiderate and must have nerves of steel, the beeping drives us insane.

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Mosaic123 · 01/04/2020 08:15

Tell them you are worried it makes their property unsafe. Send them a battery via Amazon.

They are very selfish.

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justaftb · 01/04/2020 10:41

Thanks everyone!

Problem solved. I don't know if it stopped itself or if they took the battery out and changed it, but the noise has stopped. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they fixed it. Why it took them almost 12 hours after our second conversation to do so, I can't say. I would have thought that with being stuck home all day, they'd leap at the chance for a project / challenge.

Anyway, peace restored.

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Oliversmumsarmy · 01/04/2020 11:17

We had our downstairs smoke alarm go last week.

The beep was intensely irritating and we went and got a battery and it was changed within the hour

The following day at 4.21am the upstairs smoke alarm started to beep.

Woke me up

Dd was sent out to get another battery as soon as shops opened

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Oliversmumsarmy · 01/04/2020 11:18

How could anyone live with that beep for any amount of time

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